Mc Enroe:King of Dallas

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If Lendl dominated one of the two traditional indoor majors, Mac was the undisputed king, with a record of five wins, in the other: the WCT Finals at Dallas.

    He beat Borg,Lendl and Connors in three of his wins, and had easier final wins over Kriek and Gilbert ( in his 1989 win, his last shot at a major title).His 1983 final was epic, and so was his first title back in 1979, when he beat both, Connors and Borg, the first time somebody achieved it in years.

    He lost a four sets final three times, to Mecir in 87, to Connors in 80 and to Lendl in 82.He was owning Dallas.I think he played his best and sharpest tennis at the Reunion Arena.


    How could he do it? What made the difference? WHAT KEPT HIM GOING?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
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  2. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    6 consecutive finals for Mac at Dallas from 1979-1984, with 4 titles in that period and wins over all 3 of his main rivals was an incredible record:

    1979 - Champion, destroying Connors in his semi and beating Borg in 4 sets in the final
    1980 - Runner-Up, losing to Connors in 4 sets in the final
    1981 - Champion, winning all his matches in straight sets
    1982 - Runner-Up, losing to Lendl in 4 sets in the final
    1983 - Champion, beating Lendl in a classic 5 set final
    1984 - Champion, destroying Connors in the final

    The 1979 final an excellent performance from. He served well very well, and used his deft touch and variety of pace to keep Borg constantly off-balance. He really out-foxed Borg in that match, and even appeared to be toying with him at times. Beating Connors and Borg back to back to win such an important title was a major breakthrough in his career.

    The 1983 final was the best match of the McEnroe-Lendl rivalry in my opinion (although the 1984 RG final is not far behind). Exciting viewing with a pretty dramatic and controversial ending on match point.

    Beating a prime Mac in Dallas was probably a tougher task than achieving that at any other big tournament.

    1989 was great as his 5th title there marked a significant resurgence for him after his post-sabbatical lull, and in the semis he beat Lendl (whose temper tantrum was very funny to watch) in an official match for the first time since 1985 (though unofficially he beat him at Atlanta in 1986 and Inglewood in 1988 ). It was also fitting that the king of Dallas won the final ever edition of the event.
     
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  3. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Was that surface consistently the same throughout those years? If so, was that the optimum surface for Mac?
     
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yeah, 83 final ranks there as one of the best indoor matches ever, at 72 ´s Laver-Rosewall and 75 ´s Borg-Laver´s level and as good as the 88 Becker-Lendl clash at the Masters or the famous Becker-Sampras ATP finals at Hannover 96.
     
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  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    IMO, supreme was Mac´s best surface, where you could see all his potential coming up.
     
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  6. Frankc

    Frankc Semi-Pro

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    Yep, I must say though that Mecir took him apart in '87 - I can handle that because both Mac and The Cat are tops in my book...
     
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  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The Cat played devastating and inspired tennis in that tournament and I don´t think he could be stopped.His greatest win so far.

    In any case, Mac´s loyalty to WCT must be enhanced.In 87 he had a poor year, yet his best tennis that year was played at the Reunion arena.
     
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  8. WCT

    WCT Rookie

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    1980 was the first year that ESPN did the tournament. Surprised that I don't see more of their early years matches available on the trading circuit.
     
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  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    I believe he had a sore hip during the 87 tournament. That takes nothing away from Mecir who was a miraculous player. 6 months earlier McEnroe had beaten Mecir at the Antwerp European Community Championships in 5 sets - also indoor.

    For sure indoor was McEnroe's best surface. He was the co-number 1 of the 80s (with Lendl) on the surface.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
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  10. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    http://articles.latimes.com/1987-04-13/sports/sp-434_1_john-mcenroe

    here is article on mecir mcenroe match, looks like he beat him pretty bad, breaking his serve 10x. apparently had hip injury while beating edberg in long semifinal.

    i remember mcenroe saying about mecir that his game was so unique/hypnotic that after a while you start to hit your strokes like him
     
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  11. Vegito

    Vegito Professional

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    Vilas would have won that tournament in 1976.
     
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  12. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    In 1976 the invitees were Ashe, Connors, Nastase and Orantes. Looks like Vilas didn't qualify for that year.
     
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  13. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    which one? The thread is about WCT; Vilas lost the 76 final to Borg in 4 sets
     
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  14. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Yeah Vilas didn't have a hope in hell of beating Borg in a best of 5 set match on carpet, and after a poor start Borg took control to win 1-6 6-1 7-5 6-1. There was an 84 shot rally in that match which was quite something to see on carpet. At the time Vilas's backhand was regarded as one of the best in the game, and rightly so, but by all accounts Borg looked a lot stronger in the backhand-backhand duels that day.

    After the match, Vilas was actually questioned by the media about his close friendship with Borg off the court, and whether it was harming his hopes of beating him, as Borg was beginning to take control of their rivalry.

    After losing the 1974 final to Newcombe and breaking down into tears afterwards, and the 1975 final to Ashe, Borg was absolutely determined to finally win the title at Dallas. That was one of the proudest moments of his career, and he talked about how hard he prepared and trained to be crowned WCT champion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
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  15. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    That is how big the WCT was...modern era posters can´t get a clue about that.
     
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  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Dallas is the 4 set final tourney...almost all the finals ended up in 4 sets.

    71,73,74,75,76,77,79,80,82,86,87,88

    12 out of 19 finals finished after the fourth set.Curious, isn´t it?


    The 1972 Laver vs Rosewall match rates as one of the best, if not the best match of all time
    1975 Laver vs Borg semi and 1983 Lendl vs Mac final are probably top 5 indoor matches over the last 4 decades.

    In 1979 Mac beat both Connors and Borg, the first time since Arthur Ashe at Wimbledon 1975 that a player could achieve that feat.He would do that again at the 1980 USO...adding Ivan Lendl to the package.Imagine beating Lendl in 4 sets, Connors in 5 sets and then Borg in 5 sets after having two sets to zero and getting caught? Now, imagine Federer beating Murray at the quarterfinals, Djokovic in 5 sets in the semis, and Nadal again, in five sets in the F, leading 2-0 and getting equalized by Nadal...that is how big that achievement is¡¡¡
     
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  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Top 5 indoor matches that I recall:

    1972 WCT Final
    1975 WCT semifinal
    1983 WCT Final

    1979 Masters RR
    1996 Masters (ATP Finals) f
     
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  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    1988

    1988 Masters final? Net cord decided the match.
     
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  19. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Forget this....somehow I got thinking about the Pepsi Grand Slam.
     
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  20. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Lendl and Becker always had big duels on carpet, in fact it is where their best matches were played, excepting the 89 W SF that Becker won over 5 long sets.Their 1988 Masters final was also one of the best in the history of this event.But even the one sided final of 1986, when Lendl won in straights had great points.

    Much alike Lendl, Boris also had a high toss and his game had little margin for error.That is why he enjoyed indoor conditions, with fast but clean bounces, not gruelling baselining and no wind or sunlight to bother him when serving.
     
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  21. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    I always loved the WCT Finals, kiki, a great event and John McEnroe was the outstanding champion in its history. The 83 final is one of the best indoor finals ever. In 79, Mac beat both Connors and Borg in succession too.
     
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  22. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I was thinking that the GP and WCT had such a great rivalry that their stellar tourneys, Masters and WCT Finals couldn´t have less...only 6 men WON BOTH EVENTS at least once: Americans Smith,Connors and Mc Enroe and three europeans:Borg,Lendl, Becker

    two players won the Masters but lost the WCT championship match: Vilas and Edberg
    two more won the WCT Finals but lost the Masters final: Gerulaitis and Ashe

    Kriek played a WCT F and a WCT semi but never got past the quarters at the MSG.Nastase hold the Masters record for wins, with 4 ( until Lendl in the 80´s) but was never able to get through the first round of the WCT finals...
     
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  23. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    and the ladies had also the same equivalent tournaments, both indoors: Avon Tour in the winter-spring ended up with the Avon Finals, which IMO is exactly the same as the WCT for men.

    The rest of the year was devoted to the Virginia Slims tour, which ended with the VS Championships, the very same as the male´s Masters.

    The difference was that, while WCT and GP competed among them, the Avon and VS complemented each other.

    There were, in those times, 4 GS and 2 Indoor Slams
     
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